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Livingstone Motors voucher giveaway eases festive spending burden on staff

Andrew Iveson of Livingstone Motor Group is the 2022 AM DP/GM of the Year

Livingstone Motor Group managing director Andrew Iveson has issued Amazon vouchers to his entire workforce in a bid to ease the Christmas spending burden on the car retail business' staff.

The AM Awards 2022’s DP/GM of the Year said he felt it was “morally right” to deliver the gift – alongside a thank you letter to the 21-strong team – at a time of year when the expectation for gift giving was set to add to the strain created by the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.

Each member of staff at the Hull-based Isuzu, SsangYong and Subaru franchisee, has been urged to create some festive cheer by spending the voucher on others.

Iveson told AM: “At a time when people are struggling to pay their bills things are going to be especially hard at this time of year, but everybody likes to buy a Christmas gift for somebody else.

“The idea is that I said I don't want to spend this money on you, I want you to spend it on somebody else.

“So, the whole idea is that if I can take a bit of that pressure off them so they can use £100 a family to buy some Christmas presents then that alleviates that problem.

He added: “I’m not in a position to solve the problems of the world, but it’s morally right to do what we can and issue a bit of an extra thank you for all the team’s hard work.”

As explored in the October edition of AM Magazine, car retailers across the UK have been wrestling with the best strategy to help staff meet the challenges of the cost of living crisis in recent months.

Sandicliffe handed out a £500 one-off payment, while Mitchell Motor Group managing director Mark Mitchell told the recently-published 2022 AM100 report that it had issued a £1,000 to all its staff.

Iveson received his AM Award back in May this year after guiding his car retail business through tough times.

After Mitsubishi exited the UK market in 2021, he orchestrated a management buy-out (MBO) and company re-brand before managing the re-birth of the business through the introduction of its three new brand partners.

Now he is eyeing further growth and told AM that his business is especially “excited” about the potential of SsangYong after its recent acquisition brought it out of administration.

Iveson, who described the brand’s first electric vehicle (EV), the Korando e-Motion, as “extremely impressive, with better build quality than its key rivals”, said: “It’s extremely good news. We’ve been blown away by the success of Ssangyong and things are only looking more positive with news of the acquisition and growth plans serving to reassure customers.

“We celebrated the acquisition with cupcakes for all the staff and customers. If we’d just handed out a printed memo it could have been great news that nobody would have read.”

On November 11 Ssangyong Motor Company announced that it had completed the repayment of the rehabilitation debt with funds resulting from its acquisition by the KG Group, and had completed an 18-month “corporate rehabilitation procedure”.

The Korean carmaker said that it now plans to accelerate sales and transition quickly into making a profit.

It said in a statement: “The future growth of SsangYong will be based on the company’s move towards electrification, again supported through additional capital funding from the KG Group.

"Continuous investment and technology development for electric vehicles (EVs) is progressing, with the U100, the first of these scheduled for release next year.”

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If the marketplace in 2023 is steadily returning to relative normality, this normality now includes the drive to find customers for an increasing supply of electric vehicles, and the need to source used cars from all channels and market them carefully. And of course there are the desires to delight consumers with an omnichannel experience and to hold on to decent margins after a couple of years of strong profitability.

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In this special digital publication, industry experts, prominent suppliers and franchised dealers share their insights on the major aspects required in running a modern dealership well.

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